St Colmans Park
Pic Colm McDonagh
COBH Ramblers went down to a bruising defeat at the hands of Bray Wanderers at St Colmans Park last night.
This is the third loss in a row for Cobh and although there still is hope of making the playoffs, games are running out in the 2020 First Division.
Coming into this game, Bray were two points clear at the top of the table after a fine recent run of form. The Wicklow side had an early Ryan Graydon volley which flashed over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Indeed, it was Bray that were the better team in the early stages and had a golden opportunity in the 15th minute, when Gary Shaw saw his glancing headed effort come back off the post from a Jack Watson free kick.
A few minutes later, Graydon fired just wide from close range inside the box.
Cobh got more into the game as the first half went on and they had their first opportunity of note midway through the opening half, when Lee Devitt saw his dipping volley go over the bar, while Cork City loanee Crowley fired off target with a low effort from outside the box.
However, it was the visitors that went into the lead in the 39th minute, when Joe Doyle nodded in from a Dylan Barnett corner.
But Cobh showed good character to respond and level things up just a few minutes later.
After Hurley floated in a fine free kick to the box, Charlie Lyons was on hand to apply the necessary touch to stab the ball home.
Doyle went close for Bray early in the second half, as he curled an effort onto the roof of the net, having caught Cobh keeper Sean Barron off his line, while Killian Cantwell threatened from a corner for the away side. Ramblers though continued to ask questions of the Bray rearguard.
However, on 64 minutes Bray were back in front, former Cork City defender Aaron Barry heading home from a corner.
Cobh had to do it all again and Devitt was to fire wide of the mark with a low strike.
Ramblers were unfortunate not to be on level terms with a great opportunity on goal heading into the final quarter of an hour, as Devitt and Coleman had the Bray backline in a spin and Brian Maher forced into a decent save.
Bray could have put the icing on the cake, but they are looking strongly placed for the First Division title.
Although this was an improved Cobh display, they again were to taste defeat.
Match Report by John O'Shea
Bray Wanderers: 25 Brian Maher ; 4 Killian Cantwell, 5 Aaron Barry (c) , 3 Dylan Barnett, 2 John Ross Wilson; 17 Luka Lovic , 8 Callum Thompson, 12 Jack Watson, 7 Ryan Graydon, 9 Joe Doyle , 10 Gary Shaw